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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

My name is Patrick and I recently started a small clothing line with a friend. It is a surf, skate, snow type of brand called Ayres. You can check out our website at www.AyresClothing.com.

We are trying to figure out a couple of things before we take off and start printing a bunch of stuff. We would like to have our own labels inside of the shirts but it looks like it is somewhat of a hassle to do, so we were thinking of printing (silk screening) in the tag information on the actual shirts by using tagless tees. Does anyone have any input about this? We would like to put labels in the shirts, but it looks to be a lot of money to pay someone to sew in labels especially if you aren't doing a ton of shirts.

Also, we are doing custom printing on the side to help fund our clothing line. Does anyone have any good websites for blank shirts? I have found a few but I am still not satisfied. I do have a resellers license so I can by at wholesale prices. Also, does anyone have any good sites to order screen printing inks from? I can only afford to order colors by the quart right now, so if you have some good sites, let me know.

I am just looking for some suggestions on what I should do. This clothing thing is all new to me. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

-Patrick
 

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Ayres Clothing said:
Hello Everyone,
I recently started a small clothing line with a friend.... This clothing thing is all new to me.
-Patrick
Hello Patrick, How you doin?
I am not "picking" on you, but, I just think these two sentences sound humorous in the same paragraph! We all started before we knew enough! (In my case anyway!);)

The best thing you can do is utilize the search feature on the tshirt forums and look for info on any question you may have. There are several mentions of and links to wholesale tshirt suppliers and perhaps you can find a better deal than what you are getting.

Are you guys going to develop designs for your tees, or, are you going for the brand identity?

I am not a screen-printer, sorry, I can't help you there.
Welcome, and Good Luck.:)
 

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Hi Patrick!

Does anyone have any good websites for blank shirts?I have found a few but I am still not satisfied.
Which ones have you found that you didn't like? Usually you'll get the best prices from distributors like SanMar, AlphaShirt.com, Bodek, SSActivewear, etc.

Also, does anyone have any good sites to order screen printing inks from?
There are lots of sites for this if you do google search for screen printing supplies. Coast Graphics, RyanRSS, Atlas, Standard Screen are all companies I've heard people order from.

:welcome: Looks like we have another Sacramento local!
 

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Ayres Clothing said:
We would like to have our own labels inside of the shirts but it looks like it is somewhat of a hassle to do, so we were thinking of printing (silk screening) in the tag information on the actual shirts by using tagless tees. Does anyone have any input about this? We would like to put labels in the shirts, but it looks to be a lot of money to pay someone to sew in labels especially if you aren't doing a ton of shirts.
There aren't really any truly tagless tees on the general market. You can get custom orders from manufactures (not as hard as it may sound) if you are dealing in sufficient quantity, but they're not something you can just buy from a distributor. Hanes Tagless shirts actually have the information that would usually appear on a tag screenprinted into the neck instead of on a tag - they're more for retail customers who don't want a scratchy tag. In my opinion they're probably the worst option available for a clothing brand to use. One way or another, you're going to have to deal with the shirt having a tag in it.

Relabelling the shirts isn't that hard or expensive, but it certainly will add to the cost of production, and it is a pretty unnecessary expense. Screenprinting the tags is certainly an option (an increasingly popular option - even large chain stores do it). When printing the tags, the two options are to either cut the tags out, leaving a stub (Threadless do this for example - quite roughly I might add). The other option is to pay someone to remove them properly (unstitch the shirt, take out the tags, sew it back up). If you are paying someone to do that, you might as well have them sew in your tag. On the other hand, if you just cut the tags it leaves an unsightly stub. So that is the dilemma of the printed label shirt.

The other thing to remember is that the US has stringent textile labelling laws. You can't just cut out the tags, print your company logo in their place, and be done with it. You'll need to transfer across the RN, care instructions, country of origin, etc. Basically all the information that's printed all over that itty bitty tag is going to have to get printed into the neck of the shirt (legibly).

Ayres Clothing said:
Does anyone have any good websites for blank shirts?
Rodney listed a few good sites (in fact that pretty much covers it). You can find more information by searching the forums for wholesale, distributor, etc. (course you'll also have to sift through a dozen posts telling people to search the forums for every one with the answers ;))
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the help guys. I have used RyanRSS to buy supplies before, but I have heard that you can find inks cheaper than what they sell them for. They sell them for about $20 a quart and I have heard you can get ink for around $12-15 a quart.

One of the few tagless tees I have seen is offered by ALStyle.com. It has a tag that can be easily torn out because it has a prefferated edge. Yea, it wasn't so much the cost of the relabeling but all the government regulations that you have to follow to make sure you don't get in trouble. It would be nice to have my own labels inside of the shirts and what not, instead of showing hanes for example.

We are leaning more towards branding with our clothing line instead of having it based on individual designs. I am not sure if you are familiar with the brand Volcom, its a skate, surf, snow type of brand like our brand. They have some cool designs and typically find a cool way to place their logo into the design. We are going to try and do something like that. We have a couple of designs in the works. If you would like to see our logo you can check out our myspace page at www.myspace.com/ayresclothing. Our main picture with the lower case A shape is our main logo.

Rodney, do you know of anyone locally in Sacramento that sells silk screen supplies?

Thanks for the advice guys. Take it easy.
 

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Ayres Clothing said:
One of the few tagless tees I have seen is offered by ALStyle.com. It has a tag that can be easily torn out because it has a prefferated edge.
Yeah, sorry, I forgot about AlStyle.

I've always thought a perforated edge is an interesting definition of "permanent" :) I suspect some of the things companies do wouldn't actually stand up in court if they were challenged.

Ayres Clothing said:
Yea, it wasn't so much the cost of the relabeling but all the government regulations that you have to follow to make sure you don't get in trouble. It would be nice to have my own labels inside of the shirts and what not, instead of showing hanes for example.
They're actually pretty straight forward once you get your head around them - the problem is that a lot of companies either ignore them (as Threadless did for a while), or lie about them (as a few companies now on public record as having been fined for it have done ;)). If you're aware of the regulations and care about them you're already half way there.

If you're willing to leave the care instructions that come with the shirt in it and just remove the brand label (i.e. leave the label that has size, wash instructions, RN, Made In, etc. and remove the label that says "Hanes" or "Gildan" etc.) it's very, very simple. Most blanks are designed to make this easy - if you remove their brand tag only and replace it with your own, you'll be within the regulations (you may want to check that whatever brand of blanks you are using is compliant, but that's probably true of most brands - certainly all the ones I've seen).

Ayres Clothing said:
I am not sure if you are familiar with the brand Volcom
I don't keep abreast of many skate brands, but they're big enough that they can't go under anybody's radar ;)

Ayres Clothing said:
If you would like to see our logo you can check out our myspace page. Our main picture with the lower case A shape is our main logo.
I checked out your page when you posted earlier; I like your logo, it's nice and simple (and attractive). Iconographic, and good for decals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Solmu said:
I checked out your page when you posted earlier; I like your logo, it's nice and simple (and attractive). Iconographic, and good for decals.
Thanks. Are you talking about the logo where it says Ayres with a star or the one with the lowercase A design? Because the top of my website doesn't have a branded logo on it yet, I am trying to figure out a good way to incorporate it into the design (i just redid my website a couple of days ago). Thanks again.
 

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Ayres Clothing said:
Thanks. Are you talking about the logo where it says Ayres with a star or the one with the lowercase A design?
The lowercase a used for your myspace profile, the Josh Perez promo shot, etc.

The star logo is okay, but to me it's a little too samey (says Converse to me more than anything).

Speaking for myself I like simple, clean typography and I think they make good brand logos.

Something in the back of my mind is telling me I've seen something similar before, but I'm wondering if that's just because it's a simple classic look.

It seems like it would be easy to brand anyway; a symbol tends to work better for that than a word, especially with your target audience (i.e. a cool logo looks better on a deck than writing).

Clearly this is all subjective, but that's my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Solmu said:
The lowercase a used for your myspace profile, the Josh Perez promo shot, etc.

The star logo is okay, but to me it's a little too samey (says Converse to me more than anything).

Speaking for myself I like simple, clean typography and I think they make good brand logos.

Something in the back of my mind is telling me I've seen something similar before, but I'm wondering if that's just because it's a simple classic look.

It seems like it would be easy to brand anyway; a symbol tends to work better for that than a word, especially with your target audience (i.e. a cool logo looks better on a deck than writing).

Clearly this is all subjective, but that's my opinion.
I completely agree with you on the not using the Ayres with the star in it. My business partner really likes it on the top of our site. I really want our main logo on the top of the site. He doesn't know how to make webpages, so I might just go and change it without his consent because I can't stand it. It does look like converse. I have had a lot of people tell me my logo looks like Circa which is another skate company. I had no intention of making it look like their logo...but I think mine is completely different and I shouldn't have a problem. Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Ayres Clothing said:
I completely agree with you on the not using the Ayres with the star in it. My business partner really likes it on the top of our site. I really want our main logo on the top of the site. He doesn't know how to make webpages, so I might just go and change it without his consent because I can't stand it. It does look like converse.
Tempting as that would be (I'd be tempted to as well if it were me), it's not a great idea. You'd be better off convincing the business partner of why you want to change it than doing it without him and potentially creating a big argument. Business partnerships can be tenuous, especially in the early days, and I'm guessing yours is based on a friendship? You don't want to ruin that, from a business or personal perspective.

You could point out that a third party (i.e. me) mentioned it without any prompting :) Alternatively you could put it to your forum regulars.

If you haven't already though, now is a good time to think about dispute resolution. There are going to be times when the two of you just don't agree on something - you need a way to come up with a solution that both parties can live with, and not have one (or worse still both) feel like they're always getting shafted.

Ayres Clothing said:
I have had a lot of people tell me my logo looks like Circa which is another skate company. I had no intention of making it look like their logo...but I think mine is completely different and I shouldn't have a problem. Thanks for the feedback!
Simple company logos will tend to somewhat resemble other simple company logos, so it's not necessarily an issue. It's more of a problem when they're in the same field as you (i.e. both skate companies), but if you're confident they're different that's the main thing. It probably wouldn't hurt for you to trademark your logo at some point. It's generally considered overkill for a new company (and as Rodney has pointed out it's actually easier to register it if you can establish with the government that you have been using it in commerce), so I'm not suggesting you need to run out and do it today or anything. Just that it would be more relevant for you than for other businesses, and that it's worth bearing in mind.
 

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I was curious about the Circa logo so I checked it out.

I can certainly see a clear resemblance there, but not enough that I'd worry if it were me (bearing in mind I have no legal experience in such matters so my opinion means approximately -><- that much).

If it ever came to duelling lawyers you may or may not have a problem. Lawyers are frumious bandersnatches that way. *shrug* This is all hypothetical anyway since you're not looking to get sued ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yea, I wouldn't change the site without my partner...that was more a of a joke. I am not really worried about being sued at this point because my business is so small. As it grows I will probably trademark it. I don't think it looks enough like Circa to pose a problem, so I am not worried. I actually changed my company name several times because there were already companies with the same name. I ened up using my own name because I learned that they can't take that company name away from you :)! Thanks
 

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Ayres Clothing said:
Yea, I wouldn't change the site without my partner...that was more a of a joke.
I figured that was probably the case, but might as well have mentioned it.

Ayres Clothing said:
I actually changed my company name several times because there were already companies with the same name.
I think we've all been there unfortunately.

[check domain] ...taken
[check domain] ...taken
[check domain] ...taken

It's damn frustrating.

Ayres Clothing said:
I ened up using my own name because I learned that they can't take that company name away from you :)!
Of course that's a two edged sword since they can't take it off your competitors either :)
 
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